Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 1)


i. Chorale - Israel Lies in Pain

1. Israel lies in pain.
Fractured in exile, damaged to the core,
Its rulers savaged by the Eagle's claw.
It seems to wait in vain
For a Messiah to heal and restore,
Binding his Royal splendour to The Law.

2. Faded in history
The sharp discourse of Moses and The Lord;
The soldier, not the angel, wields the sword;
Vanished the mystery.
The power of prophets fallen in the word,
Only the death of yearlings to record.

3. Time quickens with new light.
Salvation, not The Law, is beckoning,
A promise made beyond all reckoning
Is now in sight.
The Lord is close at hand, repent and bring
Your new born hope to greet the Infant King.

ii. Recit - Evangelist.

1. Dear Theophilus: Though many have set down
As witnesses and Ministers of The Word
What we believe I, having perfect understanding
Of these events represent them to you
As further proof in your divine instruction.

2. In the reign of King Herod of Judaea
Zacharias the Priest and his wife Elizabeth
Lived blamelessly within the Lord's command.
And as Zacharias burned incense in The Temple
An Angel came and stood at His right hand:
iii. Duet - Angel/Zacharias.

1. Fear not zacharias Your prayer is heard,
Both you and Elizabeth are blessed of The Lord:
Your wife, although Barren, will bear you a son
And by God's commandment you must call him John.

2. He will bring joy to You and to all of the earth,
By the Spirit and Elias he will bravely go forth;
He will call for repentance and make straight the path
For one set to follow of much greater worth.

3. How am I to take in what I have been told,
For Elizabeth and I are now grown very old?

I am Gabriel and because you have doubt, behold!
You are struck dumb until all these wonders unfold.

v. Recit. Evangelist.

1. When he had finished, Zacharias, relieved,
Prepared to go home.

vi. Miscellany - Traders

1. Fat lambs, unblemished
2. Yearlings pure and white
3. Turtle doves cooing
4. Tamed for heavenly flight.

(Repeat and mix).

vii. Duet - Father/Child

1. Father, let us buy a lamb;
That one looks so white and nice;
I can smell the incense sweet
Burning for the sacrifice.

2. We are very poor my child,
Brave are you who love The Lord;
In your heart you bring a lamb,
Outwardly we bring these birds.

3. Father, not a thousand lambs
Equal all the love you give;
If the Lord's is greater still
I shall love Him as I live.

vi. Miscellany - Traders

Repeat vi.

ix. Recit - Evangelist.

So Zacharias went home and soon afterwards Elizabeth conceived:

x. Aria - Elizabeth.

A. The Lord has dealt kindly
And swiftly reversed
The barren condition

That has made me cursed:

B. The Lord has rewarded my patience and duty,
And given me love beyond riches and beauty:
My son will be honoured to speak in His name,
Prepare His great Mission and add to His fame.

xi. Chorale The Lord Has Rewarded

1. The Lord has rewarded your patience and duty,
And given you love beyond riches and beauty:
Your son will be honoured to speak in His name,
Prepare His great Mission and add to His fame.

xii. Chorale - Whose Foot Was Promised at The Fall

A. Whose foot was promised at The Fall
To crush the serpent's wily head,
Destined meekly to overhaul
Eve's bliss before her pride was fed?

B. Whose Godly home awaits the Angel's call,
Mary the holy Mother of us all:

xiii. Recit - Evangelist.

1. The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, a city of Galilee,
To a virgin promised to Joseph of the family of David:
And the virgin's name was Mary

xiv. Aria - Gabriel.

1. Hail Mary, of all women blessed,
Full of God's Grace be not distressed:
You will conceive a son,
Jesus, the Lord's most high,
Destined for David's throne
For all eternity.

2. This infant of the Spirit's Grace
God's son, not born through love of man:
And as a sign of power
That all things may be done,
Elizabeth will soon
Give birth to one named John.

xv. Aria - Mary.

A. Behold the humble servant of the Lord:
All shall be done according to Your word;
And I shall go to serve my cousin's need
For she and I are blessed of God indeed.

B. Blessed be our God
Who makes all things complete;
I lay my love and service at His feet.

xvi. Chorale - Blessed Be Our God

Blessed be our God
Who makes all things complete;
WE lay our love and service at His feet.

xvii. Recit - Evangelist.

1. And the angel departed
2. and Mary set out for the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth.

xviii. Miscellany - Children.

1. Mary comes from Galilee
2. Mary's boyfriend works with wood
3. Aunt Elizabeth is tired
4. Rather old for motherhood.

(Repeat and mix).

xix. Aria. Elizabeth.

A. Mary bless-ed of all women,
In thy soul and in thy womb,
How should I repay the honour
Of God's mother in our home?

B. At your step my precious boy
Kicked within my womb for joy;
Now Belief's reward is sealed,
God's intent will be revealed.

xx. Aria - Mary.

1. My soul is ecstatic with God's glorious love,
Who has looked on his maiden from heaven above
And has raised me forever to heights never dreamed,
And decided that, through me, man will be redeemed.

2. He has humbled the proud and brought power to defeat
That the poor may be raised and the hungry may eat:
He has rendered with mercy what He might repel
And stayed faithful to His servant Israel.

xix. Aria. Elizabeth.

Repeat xix.

xxii. Recit - Evangelist.

1. And in due time Elizabeth bore a son
And the community shared her gladness.
But when they insisted that the boy should take the family name of Zacharias
His father wrote upon a tablet the word "John":
And immediately Zacharias regained his speech and said:

xxiii. Aria. Zacharias.

1. Blessed be God come to salvage
His chosen people in our age
through David's noble lineage,
Whose prophets are our heritage.

2. Who promised Abraham to save
His people from being captives,
that they would be more free to serve
Him faithfully throughout their lives.

3. My child shall go before the Lord
In preparation of the Word,
Bringing the news of sacrament,
And urging sinners to repent:

4. The mercy of Our God and King
Is given earthly reckoning,
Where light will blaze and darkness cease
In mercy, tenderness and peace.

xxiv. chorale - Israel, Arise At Last!

1. Israel, arise, at last!
Your ancient chains are loosed,
In Zacharias' blast
Your woefulness reduced:
The desert of despair,
From Eden's joys refused,
Through exile and Empire
Will shortly be diffused.

2. Where barren souls were parched,
With water they will grow,
Where stone once over-arched,
Water will overflow:
The aqueduct of life
Is wider than the sand,
And He who is its width
Will feed the hungry land.

3. Our need of heavenly food
Begins with water's power;
What ends in flesh and blood
Begins with grapes and flour:
As we repent with John
We wish away the hour:
Our Advent now begun,
We keep watch for a star.